Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
DP keeps fobbing me off. I have tried to be understanding but am getting fed up. It's a thin line to being unreasonable!(114 Posts)
Have NC for obvious reasons.
Been together three years. I tried to vaguely see what his opinions were on both marriage and children and he gave me vaguely positive answers, a few winks and smiles and 'We'll see's/"That sounds nice". He suffered a close family bereavement around the time I was gearing up to ask (marriage has always been important to me, children have become important as my friends have started to have them and I've had more contact with them) so I held back for six months. The vaguely positive answers continued until the beginning of this year when I had a pregnancy scare. It was negative but made me ask outright for the first time. We had already been living together for a year at that point and he, of his own volition, will happily talk about how much he loves me and how we will be together when we are old.
I was gutted - literally felt like I had been punched, I was surprised at how strongly I reacted emotionally as I'm not like that normally - to find out the answer to both was no. He doesn't want children and he 'doesn't see the point' in marriage.
I could talk about this for a while but I think the salient remaining points are:
1. He is early forties so may be unlikely to change his mind
2. He keeps asking for more time (since February) but I am getting fed up with giving it. I don't like ultimatums but lost my temper over something stupid a month ago and it came pouring out and I said I couldn't wait forever. He cried and said, above all, that he wants us to be together.
3. I am a little younger but it takes time to build new relationships and I am a personal/professional crossroads at the moment where making a clean break would be easier (hence outburst that happened in #2)
4. I confided in two close female friends (mutual - I needed perspective from someone who knew him and they are absolutely trustworthy and wonderful) who were shocked that he doesn't want either. One said that him buying a house (earlier this year, using the inheritance from the bereavement two years ago) for us to live in was a good sign that he was committed as previously he has only rented. Both were otherwise stumped as they also thought (from his actions/words - he loves their children, absolutely dotes on them) he would be a marrying/fatherly type.
5. I love him. I feel absolutely fucking torn. It's eating me up inside that I want to wake up to him every morning for the rest of my life. I love so many, many things about him and I want to raise children with him but, so help me God, if he says "We'll see..." about any attempt of mine to raise the conversation (about once a month since I arrived at this crossroads, hence my 'unreasonable' in the thread title... I think I am being U to start raising it this frequently), I will break something. If I don't mention it again then we just drift on until it really will be too late for me to have children and that would definitely destroy our relationship.
How long do I wait? I think you're all going to tell me not to. But how do I square that with a) him saying he wants us to be together forever and b) not liking the idea of blackmailing someone via an ultimatum?
Well, you could wait until your eggs run out, I suppose.
I would say if he is in his early 40's, he is very unlikely to change his mind now.
So, the choice is yours. Do you stay with him and not have marriage or kids, or leave him and meet someone who is of the same mindset as yourself.
If you want children you have to get rid of him and find someone who wants the same thing. I've seen it happen so many times where a woman has left it too late and her partner has then left her for someone younger to have children with.
It is a stark choice.
Him and no wedding ring or children.
Someone else, (who you haven't met yet but is kind, fit, faithful, hot, keen on marriage and kids and kind,) and a wedding ring and children.
I once made the mistake of deciding that living with my ex with no wedding ring was better than not having him at all. I was lying to myself.
Now I'm married, a bunch of kids, happy.
You could be too.
Maybe he is telling the truth. He wants to be with you forever, but he doesn't want kids and he doesn't want to get married.
Do you mind my asking how old you are?
but if you really want children, and he really doesn't, that seems like a deal breaker to me.
Yes, I don't disbelieve he wants to be with you "forever"
But it seems like he is prepared to feed you a bunch of bullshit to enable that.
How old are you?
If you're in your thirties you don't have the time for this guy to waste your time.
Sorry to be brutal but that's the reality.
If you want children then you need to dump this guy and find someone else.
If you think you can live without them and settle for just him, then you need to make up your mind to do that.
But remember that if you choose the latter course, you could end up resenting him veto-ing your fertility.
So if you do choose that, you need to have made a positive decision tht you will not have children.
If you're not prepared to make that decision, you need to stop wasting your time. Sorry, but it runs out quickly, you don't know if you're going to be one of those women who has difficulty getting pregnant after the age of 35, or whether you get pregnant at the drop of a hat when you're 48. If you want kids, you can't afford to take the chance that you'll be one of the former. This bloke has been honest and upfront with you and told you straight that he doesn't want marriage and kids and it sounds like you do. If that's the case, long-term you're incompatible, however great it all is now.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
The thing is, you're hearing 'I love you' as being about you, not about him. But what he's telling you is what he wants for his own happiness - he doesn't want to lose you. It's not about you, it's about him.
Arguably, if he really loved you, wouldn't he want you to have the thing which you want most deeply? If he couldn't give that to you, wouldn't he put your needs and wishes before his own?
Okay, that's a big ask - for anyone. We are selfish beings. But you are not having the same conversation.
Giving someone an ultimatum is not synonymous with blackmailing them. You have every right to want what you want - and so does he. He isn't being honest with you and you aren't with him - you keep giving him extensions to 'his' decision as if you're happy to wait. Why should he not therefore feel it is not (yet) a make-or-break situation for you?
You need to be honest. This is make or break for you. No more stalling for time - he puts his cards on the table and so do you. You may find when he knows you're serious that he's willing to compromise. Or you may not.
But both of you deserve to have what you most want. It may 'simply' be that your wants are not compatible with each other. Unfortunately when one of the wants is children there is no real way to compromise.
Stop being understanding - you aren't helping either of you despite what I'm sure is simply a desire to be nice about things. It's time for the big talk. Good luck.
Sit him down and tell him. Having kids and being married are deal breakers for you. If not having those are deal breakers for him then he needs to be honest.
If he can't commit to either pretty much immediately then he usn't the man for you. You may love him now but imagine how painful it will be as years go in and you see the sacrifices you've made. You will end up splitting up anyway. If he has kids or gets married without really wanting to you would still end up splitting up eventually.
So what do you want?
A. Clean break with chance of real happiness with someone who wants the same as you
B. stay and go without kids then break up later
C. Coerce him into kids and end up a single mum later
Sorry, but kids and marriage are deal breakers for most people. You have to both be honest about what you want
Nobody can help you decide what to do, obviously, but if you really want children then you should move on. He's not likely to change hi mind any time soon.
I've seen it happen and spent the best part of 10 years telling a colleague to marry the woman (or have kids, even move in) or let her go. He was not "sure" she was the one.
I have also seen people claim not to want to have children or get married and then meet the right person.
Just food for thought.
Thank you for you responses. JustFabulous You sum it up well. I was single for a long time before I met him and I worry about meeting someone 'right'.
The other thing that concerns me is that after the pregnancy scare I asked him about children first. He refused to answer and said he didn't know. This went backwards and forwards until I finally said I didn't care what he was going to say (thought it would be negative by that point!) but I just wanted an answer and I didn't believe you could get to his age without having a single thought about it. Cutting a long story short he lied and said he wanted children to make me happy. I was really happy - for about thirty seconds until I realised he was lying to make me shut up I worry that if I say I am leaving he will say we should get married. How am I to know it's for real? Even if he genuinely meant it and I had 'magically' made him realise that he wanted children/marriage I would always suspect I had blackmailed him into it.
I think, personally, you should stop equating marriage with kids. Work out which one you want. If it's kids, and he doesn't want them and you do, move on. Marriage, well, you can hang on as long as you like if it's just marriage.
Leaving him because he doesn't want the same things as you is not blackmail. I wouldn't give the ultimatum - he's already told you what he does not want. You need to rent a place of your own, pack your things and move out. Then set about taking some time to readjust. Then take steps to meet other people and hope that you find a new life partner who wants the things you want. All of these are perfectly possible, but taking the first step of accepting that this isn't the right relationship for you and moving out will be the hardest one: much harder than finding someone who wants marriage and children.
The longer you wait, the harder you will make all of the steps that you need to take.
Sorry it took me a while to type and I x-posted, especially with AnyFucker's second post which chimes with my last paragraph.
I really need to think some more. It's getting to the point that occasionally I lose sleep over it, which is pushing me closer and closer to just leaving. But I keep putting it off. I can't put it off forever though.
And you can't live like that.
I would start building a new life for myself.
The one honest response he has given me is that he wouldn't have children without getting married so, for us, they are inseparable (even if they weren't for me personally - which they are).
My post was relating to your blackmailing comment.
I would calmly tell him you want marrieg and children and you would like it to be with him but if he doesn't want that then you will make plans for a future without him. Then do it.
But tbh I think I would cut my losses and go. No one ever wants to think they had to bully their partner into marrying them.
I am (sort of) building a new life as my commute became crazy in the last couple of months so, since we aren't paying rent on our house, I rent out a cheap room for a few nights a week in the city I transferred to. That is what I mean by crossroads: in January/Feb time I need to make another decision about where I am transferred to next and I can request a move home or stay put or move anywhere in the UK that has an opening.
Lay it on the line. If he says no, you need to walk, painful as it is.
My best friend did the same 10 years ago. She's now married to a great guy with two gorgeous kids. It killed her at the time, but she's so glad she did.
Tribpot outs it better than I ever could, so what she said!
Come on, tell us how old you are
OP, can I tell you the somewhat salutary tale of a v close friend of mine:
She met her DP over 10 years ago. At the time they were late 20s/mid 30s respectively. Her DP loves kids, has lots of nephews, nieces and godchildren he dotes on, he's known my DC since they were babies and is great with them. She always wanted children and marriage
They had a discussion after about 3 years. He said he wasn't ready and asked her to give him more time.
Another few years after that, they had the discussion again. He said he still wasn't sure about kids, possibly he never would be. But that he loved her and he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.
My friend decided that she would rather be with him forever and forego the chance of a family, than split up and take her chances meeting someone else. She loved him more than the possibility of children.
Last year, pretty much out of the blue, he ended their relationship.
So she neither has him nor the chance of children.
I wish tbh for her sake she had ended it when they had their second conversation. Honestly, don't leave it too late.
I was where you are 5 years ago. It had become a bit of a joke with all our friends that whenever we went anywhere, even just meeting for coffee... "ooh he might propose". I was desperate for it, I wanted to get married and have babies.
Then I started giving him deadlines and letting them slip, until I started to hate him for making me so pathetic. He wasn't even the perfect man, far from it infact.
I dumped him. THEN he decided that he wanted to get married and have babies because he thought he was going to lose me forever. He was right. I stayed strong and told him it was over.
It was scary, but I had a great time. Seeing my friends, working hard to progress my career. None of my friends were sorry we'd finished, turns out they all hated him anyway!
Then I met DP and we are planning to get married and we have a beautiful little boy.
I'm going to be straight with you.
Dump him. He might tell you he's changed his mind about wanting a family etc but it's too late.
In 2, 3, 4, 5 years time, you'll be wonderfully happy in your great job, with a lovely man, maybe even married with a baby or two! It can happen.
Don't waste anymore time on him. I only wish I'd come to my senses sooner.
Join the discussion
Please login first.